By: Tim Birney | Towanda Daily Review | October 27, 2012 | Photo courtesy Tim Birney
SAYRE - Troy Hembury pounded out 161 yards on 30 carries and Anthony Barberio threw two TDs as Muncy crippled Sayre's postseason hopes here Friday night with a 21-14 win in NTL Small School football action at the Lockhart Street Bowl.
The Redskins fall to 6-3 on the season and now trail Bloomsburg and Muncy in the chase for the fourth and final Class A playoff spot.
The Indians, now 6-3 overall and 4-1 in divisional play, set the tone early with a 15-play drive that ended on downs at the Sayre 4.
Sayre managed one first down, then was forced to punt.
As it did on its first possession, Muncy methodically moved down the field on the legs of Hembury, who had 29 yards on four carries, and the arm of Barberio, who completed his only pass of the drive for 18 yards before capping the eight-play, 44-yard drive with a 1-yard QB sneak on the final play of the first quarter. Alyssa Hitesman's PAT kick made it 7-0.
The Indians outgunned Sayre 130-27 in total yardage in the first quarter and ran 23 plays to Sayre's five.
After a quick 1-2-3 punt possession by Sayre, Kyle Post gave the Redskins some life with an interception.
However, in what would become a trend for the remainder of the game, Sayre was unable to capitalize, punting the ball back to Muncy three plays later.
On the punt, Cody Ketter gave the Redskins another opportunity with a big hit on Muncy's return man, who coughed up the ball. Post pounced on it at the Muncy 16.
Four plays later, Jeremy Kyc was stopped for three yards on a fourth-and-4 at the Muncy 7, giving the Indians the ball back on downs with 4:10 left in the half.
Less than four minutes later, Barberio hooked up with Tyler Moyle on a 20-yard scoring strike to cap a 13-play, 93-yard drive. The possession included five completions (in seven attempts) for 71 yards by Barberio.
On the ensuing kickoff, Muncy hit three consecutive attempts out-of-bounds drawing 15 yards in penalties. By the time the Indians kept one in play, Sayre took over at its 49 with 28 seconds remaining in the half.
The Redskins offense roared to life momentarily with Adam Wampole connecting with Kyle Post for a 22-yard gain.
Al Bodolus followed with a 7-yard run and then Wampole and Post connected again on a 20-yard TD pass with 10 seconds remaining in the half. J.P. Harbst's PAT kick cut the halftime deficit to 14-7.
In the first half, Muncy ran 42 plays to Sayre's 18 and had 14 first downs to Sayre's three, while out gaining the Redskins 239 total yards to 96.
Sayre coach Larry Hanafin said his squad was flat and took the blame, noting that he changed his practice style in order to let a few "banged up" players heal.
"We didn't practice correctly and I'm the guy who makes the decision on how we practice," he said.
"I'm disappointed in myself," said Hanafin. "We pride ourself in practicing hard and I made a decision to change how we practiced to save some bodies and we came out flat.
"I took it easy in practice and it showed. We should have practiced harder and with more intensity," added Hanafin. "This is on me. We won't do it again."
The Redskins turned the ball over on the second play of the second half when Kenneth Koch picked off a Wampole pass at midfield.
The Sayre defense, aided by two of Muncy's 11 penalties in the game, held and forced a punt.
The Redskins took over at their 23 and mounted their best drive of the night, highlighted by a 34-yard run by Kyc, but it ended at the Muncy 9 when Hembury picked off a Wampole pass on fourth-and-13.
Sayre forced a quick punt and it took over in great field position at the Muncy 33, but fumbled the ball away on the second play.
After forcing another 1-2-3 punt possession, Sayre took over at Muncy's 46.
Sayre's ground game kicked into gear briefly with Post hitting for a pair of 5-yard runs, sandwiched around an 11-yard run by Kyc. Bodolus followed with an 11-yard tun to the Indians 14, but a block-in-the-back call against the Redskins put them in a first-and-22 hole.
Four incomplete passes later, Muncy took over at its 26.
An Indian offense that was held to one first down in the third quarter, ripped off an 11-play, 74-yard scoring drive, with the only pass being a 9-yard TD from Barberio to Elijah Warnick to give Muncy a 21-7 lead with 4:34 remaining in the game.
The Redskins took the ensuing kickoff and marched 71 yards on eight plays, capped by a 1-yard Bodolus TD run to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 1:46 left in the game. The drive was highlighted by a 35-yard pass from Wampole to Post and a 16-yard run by Post.
Muncy recovered the ensuing onside kick and then handed off to Hembury on four consecutive plays, which resulted in a pair of first downs to run out the clock.
Kyc led Sayre's ground game with 88 yards on 14 carries, while Bodolus had 44 yards and a TD on 12 carries and Post was limited to 36 yards on 10 carries.
Wampole completed 4 of 9 passes for 81 yards and a TD, but was picked off twice.
Post led the Redskins with three catches for 77 yards and a TD.
Moyle added 39 yards on eight carries for Muncy.
Barberio, who was 10 of 18 for 130 yards and a TD in the first half, finished the game with 11 completions in 20 attempts for 136 yards and two TDs. He was picked off once.
Warnick led Muncy with four catches for 34 yards and a TD, while Koch had three receptions for 28 yards and a TD, Skylar Ebner had two catches for 28 yards and Maurice Brown had one catch for 26 yards.
Sayre travels to Athens (7-2) next Friday for the annual "Rusty Rail" game.